National Park Annual Pass (1 Viewer)

unrulywaunder

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Hey,

Is it a good idea to buy the National Park Service Annual Pass for $80?

I'm planning my first cross-country trip by car, and I'm probably going to hit all the places that I've missed before because I didn't have a car: Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Zion, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc. And I'll probably be sleeping on BLM land..not sure if it's helpful there.

I read that it was $30 to get into the Grand Canyon, but an $80 NPS Annual Pass gets you in free + many other places free.

I figured I'd save a lot in the long-term, but I'm wondering if there's any hidden fees that aren't covered by the Annual pass that make it seem better than it really is.

Does anyone have any experience with this pass? Is it worth it? Anything I should know before I buy it?
 
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roughdraft

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there's no catch aside from that it strictly covers the entrance fees at NPS sites..and for emphasis, that is all, it is not associated with camping or anything else let alone BLM or USFS sites.

but in your case, going to several parks, it's indispensable. i have had this pass a couple times, using them the same way you are going to, for places like crater lake, olympic (hoh, ozette, hot springs ' although places like kalaloch are free), mt rainier, sleeping bear dunes lakeshore, assateague seashore.... Depending on the parks you save a lot quickly and in your situation based on the ones you mention, it's going to be a lot. i find most of their pay places are at least 10 dollar entrance fees so if you go x 9 in a year, you already helped yourself out, let alone if you visit grand canyon or rocky mountain. 20 x 5, 30 x 3, etc.

Important::: I recommend trying to get it in the first week of a month because they use a holepunch for whatever month you buy it in. so say it's April, now you have it for a few days shy of 13 months instead of just 12 - because there is not a firm date of purchase associated with the card, just a hole in the month purchased. so you can use it for ALL of next April too.
 
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Coywolf

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Park Ranger here.

This is literally the best deal in the US. Park entrance fees for large parks can be as high as $40 each.

Get it. It's worth it.

there's no catch aside from that it strictly covers the entrance fees at NPS sites..and for emphasis, that is all, it is not associated with camping or anything else let alone BLM or USFS sites.

but in your case, going to several parks, it's indispensable. i have had this pass a couple times, using them the same way you are going to, for places like crater lake, olympic (hoh, ozette, hot springs ' although places like kalaloch are free), mt rainier, sleeping bear dunes lakeshore, assateague seashore.... Depending on the parks you save a lot quickly and in your situation based on the ones you mention, it's going to be a lot. i find most of their pay places are at least 10 dollar entrance fees so if you go x 9 in a year, you already helped yourself out, let alone if you visit grand canyon or rocky mountain. 20 x 5, 30 x 3, etc.

Important::: I recommend trying to get it in the first week of a month because they use a holepunch for whatever month you buy it in. so say it's April, now you have it for a few days shy of 13 months instead of just 12 - because there is not a firm date of purchase associated with the card, just a hole in the month purchased. so you can use it for ALL of next April too.

This pass is not just good for NPS sites. It is called an Interagency Pass, and is good at many Forest Service, BLM, Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, and State lands. But not even near all of them.

The best part of this pass is that you are funding the lands you enjoy recreating on. All of that money directly funds employee salaries, maintenance costs, and the like.

If you have any other questions about this topic, feel free to PM me.
 

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